Chatanika to Tangle Lakes via Alaska Highway, Richardson Highway and Denali Highway. 210 miles.
Above: Chatanika Lodge. For reasons never explained to me, the lodge didn't open for the anticipated 7:00 AM breakfast. We rode to Fairbanks to have breakfast at Sophie's Station Inn, the hotel where we stayed on our first night out from Anchorage.
Chatanika is on the Steese Highway which runs northeast from Fairbanks, to Circle, on the Yukon River. In gold mining days, the turn of the 19th/20th century, the miners accessed Circle from Dawson via the Yukon River. The miners then set out, southwest, overland, on what is now the Steese Highway, to Chatanika - gold country - and Fairbanks.
Above: Jethro in Chatanika. Why you pay extra for going on a motorcycle tour as opposed to doing it on your own.
Above: Chatanika. Gold mining dredge at placer mining sight. This particular sight is "mined out," but one can see how dredge mining pulls more gold out of the gravel than panning on the creek.
Above: North Pole, Alaska. Enterprising town changes its name to North Pole and sets up a year round Christmas operation. Letters of kids in the lower 48 (not 55) writing to Santa come here. They get a return letter from Santa post marked, "North Pole Alaska." In the above image, Santa is in his summer garb.
Above: Alaska Pipeline 562 miles south of Prudhoe Bay. The zig zag of the pipeline better allows for expansion and contraction of the pipeline in the wide temperature swings that occur in central Alaska. The location of the pipeline in this image is about 100 miles south of Fairbanks. Talk about the freeze/thaw cycle... in Alaska's interior, summer temperatures can reach the mid-90's and winter temperatures may descend to 50 degrees below zero.
Above: View from Tangle Lakes Lodge, our hotel, twenty miles west from the start of the Denali Highway.
Above: Moose building, at Tangle Lakes Lodge. I stayed in "Moose 4," a room with a bath in the room pictured.